Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

07970 638857


How To Get Referrals When You're Not a Natural Networker

Some thoughts on building trust ...



Whenever I ask people what's the first step in building a relationship, they usually say trust. If I ask what destroys that relationship then usually, they tell me a story about when that trust was broken ...

Getting regular referrals requires that you build and maintain that trust. With that in mind, I watched Frances Frei's Ted talk on building and maintaining trust using her experience of going into Uber to rebuild the leadership team.

She identifies 3 principles that must be in place for leaders to foster a culture of trust within the organisation and that if any of these three wobbles then trust is lost. What are they? Empathy, authenticity and logic!"

How can you demonstrate your trustworthiness by paying attention to these three principles as you build referral relationships in business?

  1. Empathy at first glance seems the easiest. It means getting underneath the other person's skin. Really understanding what is important to them and how it feels for them. More than that it means respecting their perspective and emotions even when they are at odds with how you perceive and experience the world and it requires the other person to do the same for you. Somewhere in those perceptions and experience, there will be the common ground that binds the relationship.

  2. Authenticity, on the other hand, being yourself within that relationship and allowing each of you to be different. As I've said before we as humans are finely tuned cheat detectors and we will pick up quite quickly when someone is inauthentic, putting on a front, or outright lying. In a relationship, we need to feel safe enough, to be honest about our values and beliefs. In fact, that intuitive feeling when we “know” we trust someone usually comes when we open up with some self-disclosure, some vulnerability that is accepted by the other person. To me, that is the reconciliation of these two principles.

  3. Frei's last point about logic, I still struggle with as many people I know can be illogical on some issues without losing my trust. I think she means having some method of reasoning and evidence to back up your assertions and actions. The example she gives is about managers being over-promoted far above their level of competence (An Uber Peter Principle, maybe?)

Another way of putting this is is that to develop trust in a business relationship, both parties must demonstrate credibility in their knowledge and skills of their particular products or services.

How can you use this information? When starting a new relationship or when one has started to wobble a bit, maybe just check out:

  • Do you really understand what is important to the other person rather than what you would like it to be?

  • Are you honest in expressing what you want even when it differs from the other person?

  • Are you ready to share or re-express your vulnerability, your need for their understanding and help?

  • Are you operating in a manner where they can rely on your competence and level of service?

  • And are these points reciprocated?

Oh, and remember that not all relationships need to be intense; give each other some slack and have some fun together too.

"Would you like to know more?"

If you'd like to find out more about getting referrals when you're not a natural networker then do give me a call on 07970 638857 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


Leave a comment ...

Share the blog love ...

Précis (0)

Share this to FacebookShare this to TwitterShare this to LinkedInShare this to PinterestShare this via Buffer

More about Jacky Sherman ...


07970 638857